Press TV campaigns against attack on Iranian satellite TV!

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PRESS TV has launched a Facebook petition to save the news channel across Europe after European satellite provider Eutelsat SA stopped the broadcast of several Iranian satellite channels on the order of the European Commission.

In a blatant violation of freedom of speech, the company ordered media services company, Arqiva, to take the Iranian satellite channels off one of its Hot Bird frequencies on Monday.

The decision follows months of jamming of Iranian channels by European satellite companies.

Iranian news channels affected by the decision only aimed to break the West’s monopoly on news broadcast by reflecting the voice of the oppressed people to the world.

The illegal move by Eutelsat SA, therefore, is a step to silence all alternative news outlets representing the voice of the voiceless.

Press TV calls on its supporters to join the campaign and back the news channel by signing the petition and leaving comments at its Facebook address in order to protect free speech in Europe:

Press TV viewers have condemned as illegal and hypocritical the ban imposed by the European officials on the broadcast of several Iranian satellite channels, saying that the move throws into question the West’s freedom of speech claims.

‘Where is the freedom of speech and press in Europe? Hypocrites!

‘When it is against Islam then it is freedom of the press and speech in Europe.

‘Lift the ban now. Double hypocrites.’

Another viewer said, ‘Shame on the European Commission. They who have just been awarded the Nobel Price for peace are now suppressing freedom of speech and expression which are essential tools to report on breach of peace and the warmongers!’

‘This European illegal, illogical, uncivilised measure indicates its serious desperation and panic in facing the growing influence of Press TV across the world,’ another comment read.

‘There was never the freedom of expression in US or EU, only selective loose talk is branded as Freedom of Expression,’ wrote a viewer.

European satellite provider Eutelsat SA has stopped the broadcast of several Iranian satellite channels, including Press TV, al-Alam, Jam-e-Jam 1 and 2, Sahar 1 and 2, Islamic Republic of Iran News Network, Quran TV, and the Arabic-language al-Kawthar following an order by the European Commission.

The EU is claiming that the move is aimed at punishing Iran for violating human rights.

However, experts believe that Press TV has raised the anger of certain European countries for covering thorny issues including anti-austerity protests.

The decision follows months of jamming of Iranian channels by European satellite companies.

Iranian news channels affected by the decision only sought to break the West’s monopoly on news broadcast by reflecting the voice of the oppressed people to the world.

The illegal move by Eutelsat SA, therefore, is a step to silence all alternative news outlets representing the voice of the voiceless.

Observers believe that the European Union does not respect freedom of speech, and spares no efforts to silence the voice of alternative media outlets.

Technical experts say the jamming was carried out by British technicians.

l China has criticised the latest round of unilateral sanctions imposed by the European Union against the Islamic Republic over the country’s nuclear energy programme.

‘We oppose the imposition of unilateral sanctions on Iran and believe that using sanctions to exert pressure cannot fundamentally resolve the Iran nuclear issue,’ Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei said on Tuesday.

‘It can only make the situation more complex and intensify confrontation… We hope that all relevant parties can show flexibility, increase communication and push for a new round of talks as soon as possible,’ he added.

On Monday, EU foreign ministers agreed on a new round of sanctions against Iran in spite of a UN warning against the humanitarian ramifications of the previous bans.

The fresh unilateral sanctions come as EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Monday that negotiations between Iran and five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) could move forward ‘very soon’.

The illegal US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the unfounded allegation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy programme.

Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Amid the European Union provisional approval of new embargoes against Iran over its nuclear energy programme, the Swedish government is trying to prevent the bloc from imposing further sanctions fearing loss of lucrative deals.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry official cited telecommunications deal between Swedish communications company Ericsson and Tehran as the real reason behind Sweden’s opposition to further EU sanctions on Iran, saying the deal will be in jeopardy in case of additional bans.

‘We know that in Sweden they fear that if the deal between Ericsson and Iran is cancelled this could have implications for the company’s other deals,’ the Foreign Ministry official said.

‘The Swedes fear that other countries … such as China will hear about the cancellation and worry about their ties with Ericsson,’ added the source.

The EU foreign ministers will meet in Luxembourg on Monday to formally ratify a new round of embargoes on Iran, despite a warning by the United Nations against the humanitarian repercussions of the sanctions already in place.

Despite pressure on the Swedish government to drop its opposition to the new sanctions on Iran, Swedish officials emphasised that bans only harm the Iranian people.

In addition to Sweden, Greece, Cyprus and Malta have also expressed their objection to further sanctions on Iran. This comes as any decision by the 27-nation bloc has to be unanimous and the four countries’ objections will dilute the list of new sanctions.

According to EU diplomats, the new measures target Tehran’s banking sector, industry and shipping.

The new embargoes will oblige European traders to obtain the authorisations of their respective governments prior to financing any permitted business transaction with Iran.

The bloc will also ban its member states from selling metals and graphite, a steel component, to Iran and providing the country with ship manufacturing know-how, oil-storage technology as well as flagging and classification services to Iranian tankers.

Based on the new motion, the EU will also freeze the assets of 34 Iranian companies.

The bloc’s new move comes in defiance of the UN chief’s recent remarks about the humanitarian ramifications of the previously-imposed embargoes.

Ban Ki-moon warned on October 5 that the West’s sanctions have mainly targeted the livelihood of the ordinary Iranian population.